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A spooky full moon will be on full display for Halloween

There won't be another one on Halloween until 2039 so make sure to take a look Saturday night!
Credit: KGW
History of full moons on Halloween

PORTLAND, Ore. — A spooky moon has been part of Halloween optics, lore and legend for as long as most of us can remember. But when was the last time we had an actual full moon on Halloween? 

Depends on what time zone you live in. Here, on the West Coast, it was 19 years ago, in 2001, as you can see from the graph at the bottom of this story put together by our friends at NASA.

The last time the entire country had a full moon on Halloween goes much farther back, in 1944!

You may have heard that this is also a blue moon, because it’s the second full moon of the month. But that’s a default for a Halloween full moon, because the moon is full every 29.53 days. So, if it's a full moon on Halloween, it can’t be anything but the second full moon of October.

The Halloween full moon happens about every 19 years, but because the period between full moons (again, that odd 29.53 days) doesn’t exactly coincide with our calendar, there are variations. Still, it’ll be 2039 before this happens again! The table below breaks it down by time zone. 

Enjoy the Halloween full hunter’s moon. It rises over Portland at 6:23 p.m. Saturday night. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Credit: NASA
Past and future full moons on Halloween in the United States